The Decatur County Community Foundation recently announced the finalists for the 2023 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship.
Decatur County had 55 students begin the competitive process in August by completing an online application and a controlled essay. The selection method was completely anonymous. A community-represented selection committee evaluated each applicant’s citizenship, leadership, and personal attitude as demonstrated through involvement in the community, school activities, and jobs that they have held. Students were also evaluated on academics. A second committee of volunteers from outside the community scored the 55 controlled essays. The top five scores from these two rounds of evaluations moved on to the finalist round. Those top scorers include: Paige Gauck from North Decatur High School; Sophia Bushhorn, Elizabeth Flessner and Jack Hamilton from South Decatur High School; and Christina Fogg from Greensburg Community High School.
These students recently completed the third phase of the selection process. This round of judging was also anonymous and was scored by a new, third set of evaluators. During this step, each finalist prepared an oral speech, presentation, or demonstration on a topic of their choice. Students also answered impromptu interview questions.
Scores from all three rounds of evaluations are sent to the Independent Colleges of Indiana to formally determine a winner. The top student will receive full tuition to the Indiana school of his or her choice, along with a $900 book stipend. The four remaining finalists will receive a $5,000 DCCF Community Scholarship.
“All of these students did a terrific job and all are winners in my book,” said DCCF Scholarship Program Manager Jenny Schebler.
Since the 1997-98 school year, Lilly Endowment Inc. has provided over $439M in grant support for the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program. Administered statewide by Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. with local support from Indiana community foundations, more than 5,000 Indiana high school students have been awarded the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship.